Saturday 17 March 2018



Fyfe was in a good mood. The world was a pleasant place. In the inside pocket of his suit jacket was his resignation letter, carefully phrased around mysterious and unspecified personal reasons. That would get them wondering… The letter was kept in an unsealed envelope so that when the moment came he could write in the date and slap it down. The moment had to be right. Meanwhile, he was enjoying his life as it was and the envelope was getting ragged around the edges. 

Edinburgh’s Detective Chief Inspector David Fyfe is a middle-aged police detective with a fondness for the easy way out… So, when the opportunity arises to escape Edinburgh’s usual urban confusion for a murder-suicide in a sleepy village in the Scottish Highlands, he can’t resist.

Fyfe discovers that the case he’ll be overseeing is being led by a young female detective inspector and he promises to give her—er, the case—his full attention. Unfortunately, peppered with false leads and a growing number of murder victims, the investigation gets more dangerous by the hour, forcing DCI Fyfe and DI McBain to put business before pleasure.

Sleeping Pretty is the second book in the DCI David Fyfe series. Full of suspense, this is a fast-moving, wryly humorous and expertly plotted detective novel.

‘Fyfe's engrossing ruminations on the human condition [means] readers will find themselves absorbed from beginning to end’ – Booklist

I often judge how much I’ve enjoyed a book, by asking myself whether I would want to read more from the author and in the case of a series, more about a character. In regards to William Paul and his DCI Fyfe the answer is yes. And not only because it’s a short three book series and I already have the third book on the pile. (Just cos I own it, doesn’t mean I’ll read it!)

Here we have an interesting double murder – a lady in the lake – strangled and body dumped scenario and a suicide to boot, only it’s a murder designed to like suicide. Fyfe, our randy DCI is sent to the scene to oversee the inexperienced female detective leading the case. If the opportunity arises and she’s up for it, he won’t just consult on the case, he is gonna show her his truncheon – metaphorically speaking.  

Elements of slapstick and humour – Fyfe gets a few bruises during the solving of the case. Hit with a chair by a suspect in an interview, kicked in the head and knocked out in a misunderstanding with one of his wife’s students and given a nosebleed accidentally by his female colleague, plus corpse number one disappears into the drink, when the boat transporting it gets rammed during a Keystone Cops style water chase.

Plenty going on with a fair few suspects. Elements of spiritualism and psychic powers and future portents of doom, along with some undertaking and embalming, a bit of journalism, lots of infidelity including some same sex shenanigans (must be the Highland air or something in the water), and  a resolution which made sense but which I hadn’t guessed. To be honest. I didn’t really try and figure out who did the deed, I just sat back and enjoyed getting there.

Under 220 pages and lots packed into it.

4 from 5

The first in the series was recently enjoyed – Sleeping Dogs. Sleeping Partner awaits.

Read in February, 2018
Published - 1995 (reissued 2017 by Endeavour Press)
Page count - 217
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Format - Kindle


  1. It does sound like a good 'un, Col. And I do like it when an author can weave some wit into a story without taking away from the story, if that makes sense.

    1. Perfect sense, Margot. It's a great combination when done well.

  2. Sounds like a fun series. I'm glad to see your recognition of the extraordinary abilities of Highlanders.

    1. John you might enjoy reading one or two of these. And yes I heartily acknowledge the superior intellect and sexual prowess of the Highlanders!

  3. Sounds like a good one, Col. But it will have to get in line. I’ve got a lot of crime novels set in Scotland ahead of it.

    1. Elgin, you can't go wrong with a bit of Scottish crime and there's plenty of diversity within it's borders.

  4. This sounds great, Col. I am going to have to find a copy of the first one, and go from there.

    1. I think this is definitely a series where out tastes collide.